Before you buy that box of macaroni and cheese, or that frozen pizza, ask yourself if you really know what’s hiding in your food? The answer is probably No. Many of us are not aware of how to read food labels or what ingredients we need to avoid.
Many frozen and processed foods contain unhealthy amounts of sodium, sugar, and fat. High levels of these ingredients are linked to the increased risk of chronic diseases, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease.
Here are some tips to understanding food labels and help you avoid the dangers hiding in your food:
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- Serving size – listed by unit (cup, each, piece); determines calorie intake ( if a package contains 2 servings and each serving is 300 calories, then if you ate both servings you have consumed 600 calories)
- Calories – amount of calories per serving are shown. To lose weight, limit calorie intake per serving, or recommended daily allowance, which is 2,500.
- Limit fats, sodium and sugar – foods with lower amounts of these nutrients are better and much healthier. Daily intake of foods loaded with fats, sodium, and sugar increases the risk of certain chronic diseases.
- Get enough good nutrients – fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and iron. Increase daily intake of foods high in these nutrients. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.